English

The tailor hating King Alfonse

A   story by popular tradition

 

A tailor named Francis lived in Naples, in the first half of  1400.

In the struggle between Aragon and Anjou   he chose  the Anjous  and sided with the defeated King René.

Master  Francis (that was his name) was considered a popular leader and never missed an opportunity to speak ill of the Spaniards and he kept defending the French.  He hated so much Alfonse that  he did not bother to show it publicly.

All this was reported to the king who, for his knowledge and for his own fun, wanted to  personally hear the tailor’s insults.  He decided to go out riding among the people, turning through the streets of the city, where he happened to get near Master Francis, who never tired of insulting him.

Alfonse, knowing it was the tailor,  listened to him carefully and  he heard what the  man was saying as he passed by: “And how good you are on horseback,” he said by a little high voice. “How much pride and arrogance  you have. You’ll see,  that will not last long, because King René is going to come  and he  will chase you.”

After this episode, the King  sent for Master Francesco.  The tailor, who perhaps was better in talking  than in  acting, began to tremble with fear.

He foresaw hanging from a rope in the public square, so he thought of making a will and he entrusted to his wife, his children and all his belongings.

He went to the palace where he was received with courtesy, with   bows and kindness  by dignitaries and officials. Then, when he came before the king, he was even more surprised by the welcome and kindness the King showed him .

“I will use your art,” Alfonse said, “and your services, because I know how much you are bound to me  and how you speak well of me.”

Francis at  these words was frightened,  even more believing that the King wanted to make fun of him before sentencing him to death.

Alfonse continued by  that tone  and before letting him go away, he gave him a bag of gold crowns for his family and its needs.  Still stunned Francis went home, told everything to his wife,  praising the Spanish King and  totally modifying  his previous  opinion about the King.

This is just one of the episodes passed on Alfonse of Aragon.

It seems that he was a benevolent Sovereing  with the Neapolitans: a strategy designed especially with the purpose  of not  increasing the love they felt for the French.

Annunci
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The Sorceress of Vesuvius

an oral history, concerning  the eruption of 1858

 

It is said that after an eruption of Vesuvius,  having filled  by lava the big ditch, in a night of November a  harrowing and inhuman scream woke up all inhabitants in the area.

The scream was heard even in the  following nights creating terror among the people.

Peasants armed themselves with rifles and pruning hooks and left for a dawn patrol in search of the origin of that scary scream. They beat the ground inch by inch, but found nothing.

No one could give an explanation and they were all afraid.

So it happened, while they were wondering what to do, that some people  suggested to contact the “the old Mattavona”, a witch who lived on the slopes of Vesuvius.

Having said that, the farmers went in procession to the beldame. The old woman went to the place and uttered some incomprehensible magic formulas. Since then the scream was gone and the farmers went back to sleep at night.

 

 

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The birth of Capri

by Pompeo Sarnelli, Posilicheata

 

You will see, below, the mountain  Somma, which was formerly called Vesuvius.

He was a gentleman from Naples, who fell in love, unfortunately, with  a lady from the house Capri  which, at that time,  was a noble House.

And, as the relatives did not agree to their love, the more they loved each other, the more they saw their intentions disappointed.  Indeed the  relatives sent the lady to stay  away,  at Cape Minerva.

Where, being unable to see her lover, one day when the lady went for a trip in a boat, she jumped into the sea, and she became an island, which  is still called Capri.

Vesuvius, having received the news, began to throw sighs of fire, which gradually became a mountain, which is called Somma, and as he always sees his lover, even if it is a mountain, he’s  burning with love and throws fire: and when he goes into a rage, he  shakes the city of Naples which repents,  but uselessly, as the city didn’t give him  what he wanted.

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Vesuvius

Lovers Liars – by  E. Cossovich

 

How many adventures and of how many different kinds   often happen on Vesuvius!

It is said,  as two Englishmen, a gentleman and a young lady, together agreed to eternalize their love on the top of our mountain.

In front of  the steaming crater they renewed their oaths of constancy and fidelity, and calling witnesses  the elements, they  promised each other, that if any of them had been betrayed, the one would have thrown himself into the roaring crater.

 

But one year was not over,  that the fair lady gave her hand to a rich Neapolitan gentleman and the betrayed lover in despair rushed … into the  chasms of business and went to marry  a banker’s daughter, who swore less, but had more value

Vesuvius willingly gave up his victim, from which we can argue that  man (taken in its broadest sense) in England or elsewhere is always the same.

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GREEK COLONIZATION AND CUMA

The foundation of Cuma dates back from about the mid-eighth century b.C. on a site inhabited by indigenous Opici, representing according to the Greek historians the oldest Greek colony of the West.

According to the legend, the site was indicated by a dove or by the sound of cymbals .

Cuma was founded not only to strengthen the trade but also as a population colony, where to find a living space for those who in motherland did not have any kind of perspective .

The city soon experienced a rapid development, due to the geographical position as a Greek outpost in the trade with Latio and Campania territories. It created its rapidly expanding territory towards the Campania plain and over the Gulf of Naples.

The intellectual influence of Cuma on the surrounding cities is evidenced by discoveries of statues of Apollo, Demeter and Dionysus, in the near Etruscan areas of Latio and Campania.

An important further confirmation of the intellectual Cuman influence on surrounding cities, is the adoption of the alphabet with Cuma variants by the Etruscans and other Italic peoples .

In the sixth century b.C. devastated by home struggles and eruptions, Pithecusa ( now Ischia) was abandoned. With a free Pithecusa, Cuma consolidated its presence in the Gulf of Naples, which was named of Gulf of Cuma, creating sub-colonies and outposts at key points on the coast ( Misenus – Pozzuoli – Pizzofalcone – Capri – Islet of Megaride: a space currently occupied by Castel dell ‘Ovo. )

Pizzofalcone according to tradition would correspond to the establishment of Partenope, taking its name from the Sirene, buried nearby.

( About ​​who founded Partenope there are different theses, among the most reliable ones we have :

The Rhodians, seafarer people who in their travels would beat the routes to the West well before the Greek colonization .

A group of Cumans having left the country. )

Having become economically strong, Partenope began to pose a threat to Cuma, which destroyed it . The tradition is partly confirmed by the discovery of a necropolis on the hill of Pizzofalcone and materials dating VII -VI b.C., the period of the maximum Cuman power.

The expansion of Cuma and its dominion over the Gulf led to a clash with the Etruscans . (Which from the inner cores of Salerno tried to expand towards the coast ) .

In this same period ( 531-530 b.C.), the Cumans allowed a group of Samians, fleeing from the tyranny of Polycrates to settle in their territory on the site corresponding to the today’s Pozzuoli.

The New town built under the protection of the Cumans and without any political autonomy, took the name of Dicearchia (City of the right government ) as opposed to the regime of Polycrates at Samos .

The hostility between Cumans and Etruscans ended in 524 BC with the defeat of the latter.

Cuma became so reinforced by the conflict, being able to send to Ariccia ( Latin ally ) a part if its army to counter the Etruscans attack. This further victory marked the rise of the tyrant Aristodemus who remained in power until 492 b.C.

The return of the oligarchs of Capua along with other mercenaries marked the fall of the tyrant, who was killed with his entire family .

Another city replaced Cuma as a bulwark of the Greeks against the barbarians in the Mediterranean , Syracuse!

With the fall of Cuma, the Gulf was again dominated by Naples, which soon began a war against the Romans for the control of the Gulf itself.

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PHLEGRAEAN FIELDS

The Neapolitan-phlegraean territory consists of yellow and grey tuffaceous soils produced by a volcanic system giving this area its geo-morphological characteristics .

There are numerous recognizable craters in the Phlegraean Fields area bordered on the east by the Gulf of Naples and on the west by Literno. Among the largest ones we include: the Gulf of Baia, the harbor of Miseno, the Torregaveta crater, the crater of Chiaia, Pozzo Vecchio (Old Pit) and Torre Murata in Procida, the islet of Vivara and Mount Epomeo in Ischia .

Characteristic of the Phlegraean area is the bradyseism .

With the term bradyseism we mean the raising and lowering of the soil compared to the sea level, due to the variation of the pressure exerted by the internal heat sources of the earth, on the pyroclastic mass.

This phenomenon since ancient times fueled numerous myths related to the idea of afterlife world.

The warm waters arising from the subsoil have been repeatedly connceted with Pyriphlegethon and Cocytus, the rivers of the kingdom of the dead.

Lucrino was identified as an Acherontean swamp .

Still in Lucrino it was imagined the Giants were buried after being defeated by the Gods of Olympus, and in their attempts to escape, they shaked up the earth.

Another myth would have as protagonist the island of Ischia, whose first inhabitants were the Cimmerians, who would live in underground homes without ever seeing the sunlight.

They would make their living by extracting metals from the caves .

On these same lands would live the Lestrigoni, huge and vicious creatures that would have hurled boulders against the ships of Ulysses.

Leaving aside the mythical elements, the first human settlements in the Phlegraen area are very recent, as the documentation from Paleolithic and Mesolithic in all probability were destroyed as a result of volcanic eruptions, and bradyseism .

The first records are from Neolithic age and consist of fragments of arrowheads and pottery shards .

From Eneolithic we have a greater amount of evidence :

At Materdei, in Naples, following the discovery of two tombs, copper daggers were discovered, while in Ischia and on the islet of Vivara fragments of Mycenaean pottery were found.

From the Iron Age, there are instead traces especially in the area of Cuma, where traces were found of a native settlement built on the rock giving the possibility to visually check anyone entering the Gulf of Naples

PHLEGRAEAN FIELDS

PHLEGRAEAN FIELDS

volcanos of  PHLEGRAEAN FIELDS

volcanos of PHLEGRAEAN FIELDS

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CHURCHES AND MONASTERIES

For the particularity of events in urban transformation of Naples, the analysis of the stories of women’s religious orders and the social environment appear to be significantly bound to the city.

The spread extension of church properties in the ancient part of the town from the sixteenth century saw a great development, in part due to the outgrowing   of the Counterreformation percepts.

The monasteries were spaces where a spiritual mission and welfare were involved, and they represented – in response to the events of Napoleonic and post-unitary suppression laws – important public facilities too.

The settlement of the religious complexes in Naples was a consequence of the Counterreformation outcomes, but also and above all a form of control of the economic power on a city that had always been a bridge between the East and Constantinople.

Naples of the  Spanish Viceroyalty was obliged to face a significant increase in population and at the same time to manage the inhabited spaces, which will be the subject of ecclesiastical settlements controlled by the Roman Papacy, with the help and support of the aristocracy and of the Neapolitan nobility.

In addition to all this, there was the unresolved question of the eastern swampy area, which prevented any programming expansion.

This was the period in which the small Naples streets were born, a Naples marked by descriptions as a challenging living spot, with the inevitable holographic connotations which throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries  have contributed to the spreading of a stereotypical image.

Even today in the ancient  center of Naples alternate wonderful palaces, churches, monasteries, and civil houses apparently without interest but characterized by elements and portals stating their construction era.

Besides the sacred and noble  architecture of considerable value, there is  an architecture “without architects” which was built thanks to established and unwritten rules, handed down by local builders, who  determined the image of Naples throughout the years.

Who walks along the Naples streets cannot have any idea about the gardens and the court islands belonging to the various ecclesiastical houses. These structures are inserted into the urban net of  Naples downtown.

Monasteries and convents are hidden, with cloisters and valuable works of art, including continuous and layered walls.

In the ancient part of the city,  nunneries, as well as all other architecture structures offer a representation of the architectural styles contemplating both Renaissance and Baroque elements, late Baroque and neo-classical solutions, as well as  classical and neo-Renaissance facades.

The manufacturer of the church buildings worked in communion with the client in order to be able to take advantage of all available spaces,  depending on the type of activities that the religious order was to play in the structure. In this case the architecture is to be considered in relation to the spiritual mission of  clergymen.

The architecture of religious buildings and the type of the complex are connected to the rule and the observance of the canons of the religious order  and the dictates of the General  Order House.

Let be only mentioned St. Peter Martyr and St. Catherine in Formello, cloisters with a double service structure, a porch with accommodations and functions being developed around a community space, often cultivated.  These same structures after the suppression of the religious orders were used for public functions or demolished to make way for new buildings.

Some religious complex will be adapted to factories, others will have public functions and  still operating, others will be demolished in the first decades of the twentieth century.

The cancellation of the Monastery of the Cross of Lucca took place between the late nineteenth  and early twentieth century in order  to build university clinics to be achieved during the restoration plan,  after 1884.

During the French decade – 1806/1815 – anti-clerical policies are carried on that limited the riches accumulated by religious Neapolitan groups. Through the laws suppressing  religious orders, the French started a social, economic and urban development renewal.

At first with the abolition of religious structures, the French government confiscated many estates to be allocated for civil and military services, which later  were used as factories, during the Bourbon period 1815/60.

In 1806 it was established that in every convent had to be at least 12 dedicated friars to avoid cancellation. During the French decade were performed works of great importance as the Poor Hostel and the  Royal Palace of Capodimonte. During this period a road was built connecting the  Museum area with the one of Capodimonte,  thanks to the “bridge on the Sanità district”

All this,  along with Foria Street,  Posillipo Street  and the Ponti Rossi Road, was possible thanks to the suppression of religious orders  allowing  to forfeit the properties that prevented the construction of trunk roads.

The French government promoted the development of science, literature and the arts, encouraging the culture and the economic and social advancement of the Kingdom. The “Royal Society for Encouragement of Natural Sciences and Economics” was founded, an  institution that will continue to operate even with the return of the Bourbons, stimulating the development of manufacturing activities,  sometimes just in the  ecclesiastical buildings  previously “cleared”.

From 1815 with the Bourbon restoration,  initiatives characterizing the previous rules will be kept, facilitating the operative aims of the Neapolitan bourgeoisie.  Government interventions were aimed at encouraging free trade in the urban areas  as well as in  the province and abroad.

Thanks to the grant of state structures at low costs,  new factories were established, with the arrival  of foreign capitals, and entrepreneurs from European countries, in which industrial development was already advanced.

Among the ecclesiastical sees that underwent a significant change of use we mention:

The monastery of Saint Mary of Life  at Fontanelle, where  two candles and wax factories were allocated, and a factory  manufacturing  beaver skins and woolen cloths.

In  the Holy Apostles  complex were placed factories for the processing of tobacco.

There  still are many  active structures, adapted for public offices in the nineteenth century. An example is the Classical High school A. Genovesi,  placed in the Jesuit structure, at the side of the church facade of  Gesù Nuovo.

Saint Peter at Majella  was transformed into the Royal Conservatory of Music.

S. Peter at Majella

S. Peter at Majella

Sant’Anna dei Lombardi at Monte Oliveto, St. Joseph and St. Christopher all’Ospedaletto were used for military purposes.

The Incurabili  hospital near S.Aniello in  Caponapoli and the Pilgrims hospital  in Pigna Secca still keep  their functions.

In addition were used for university facilities the complex of Saints Marcellino and Festo (now the Faculty of Geology of the University Federico II) and  Old Jesus (now a library) and  the  sites Saint Catherine of Siena and the historic complex of Suor Orsola Benincasa  (now being a University under the same name).

In 1823, in the sixteenth century cloister of St. Catherine in Formello  a  beaver clothing factory was settled, representing  the first Bourbon private incentive for economic development.

The  Dominican structure was particularly suited to the establishment of textile factories, due to the presence of water distributed by the public fountain Formello. In the same year an exemption of the rent payment for 15 years was issued,  with the obligation for the entrepreneur to employ  inside the factory the prisoners in jail  at the Poor Hostel.

The growing  in the factory rhythms allowed to get a new license with the provision of a new bigger building and with the employment  of further 200 units  of  “servants in punishment”.

In the middle of the nineteenth century different requisitioned ecclesiastical structures were used for drying tobacco. This is the case of the complex Teatino that underwent several changes to be adapted to the new role, with the replacement of flat slabs with metallic structures, new buildings were inserted into the courtyard,  lofts and stairs  created to connect the various floors occupied by machines, while the spans of the portico were used for drying tobacco.

In 1970, the tobacco factory abounded site and  a gradual restoration was started.

In 1864, in order to solve the problem of housing shortage, Santa Maria Donnaregina and St. Andrea delle Dame were hypothesized as residential structures. The intervention at the monastery Donnaregina is related to the work in  Cathedral Street ( Via Duomo), which continued well beyond 1864.

The technicians hypothesized to eliminate the western sector of the convent to create  construction shares for the middle class, which were obtained by works in the above mentioned Street.

In the proposal of the technicians we observe a rather casual attitude to the conservation and protection of cultural heritage, a common behavior of nineteenth-century architects and engineers. The end result is a kind of multi-purpose environments commonly used to make the most of the original features of the sites.

For the convent of the Ladies of St. Anne, the solution is more linear.  The  different functions were defined:  on the ground floor were placed structures of common use, housing facilities, all served by a common corridor,  were located on the upper floor. In addition to the division of spaces,  there was an improvement for the entrances, by an entrance hall with staircase and an adjacent elevator on the Constantinople Street.

The  reuse plan  for  monasteries will  not be achieved, due  to  bureaucratic difficulties, due to lack of public funds, and  lack of interest by entrepreneurs who favored the use of capitals in the construction of new residential districts.

The complex Donnaregina was finished with the end of  works in  Cathedral Street, while the complex of St. Andrew finished with the  restoration works.

During the restoration  works  in the mid-800s,  two important structures were demolished,  the monastery of Saint Mary  della Sapienza and the one  of the Cross of Lucca.

The monasteries were replaced by the building blocks of the university clinics of medicine.

There were many disputes, as  the Cross of Lucca Church  was considered by critics a jewel of Neapolitan Baroque. The dissent by critics was the opportunity to extend the principle of conservation in the city center of Naples, rich in  architectural  layering and  works of art.

In 1903 a group of intellectuals contributors to the magazine – Very Noble Naples –  denounced the   demolishing provision  and dealt with the enhancement of the site.

The monastery was demolished following the widespread thought  favoring the use of the conservation, encouraging the development of new factories.

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THE POOR HOSTEL

To combat unemployment , in 1746, Charles of Bourbon encouraged the textile industry and favored the settlement of foreign traders and Jews, who found the opposition of the clergy and of the people.

In this context, measures such as the expansion of the port and the arrangement of Marina Street were arranged. An extension of the big pier to the east and the construction of department stores were planned.

The small harbor was closed and there was the construction by Vaccaro of the Immacolatella Building. The walls were torn down towards the sea, and the Mergellina coast and the beginning of Posillipo Street settled.

Naples in the 1800s had all the conditions for being a capitalist town, whose primary need was consumption, although the main source of income was the construction activity only, but this could not give work to everyone, leaving out a very big share of unemployed people.

Under the Bourbon dynasty numerous road networks were completed . But we must say that these were often dictated by the need to improve connections to the Royal residences rather than improve roads for the purposes of trade .

The Royal sites are properties surrounded by a large area reserved for hunting.

Under the reigns of the first two Bourbon Kings residences were newly made by prestigious architects or already existing structures were adapted.

In 1750, following the invitation of King Charles, L.Vanvitelli and F.Fuga arrived in Naples. F. Fuga, in conjunction with the work for the Royal Palace in Caserta, was asked to build a structure that could house all the poor of the kingdom.

The hospice that was to house the poor was built in 1751 outside the Nolana Gate. A first project by Fuga included a square plan with four courtyards, according to the Vanvitelli style of the Royal Palace, but this was rejected. Because of the swampy nature of the ground which would have made the building difficult, the structure was moved to the foot of the hill of Capodimonte, where in previous centuries similar care structures were born.

The hospice would have to emphasize the generosity and affection of the Royal House for the subjects.

Fuga redesigned the hospice adapting to the new ground, proposing a structure with a rectangular base with 5 courtyards. Later two of these were cancelled due to costs reduction.

Even this project wasn’t completed, in spite of the fact in 1764, with works in progress, the structure already housed several people. In 1819, at the final interruption of work, the building housed over 2000 people.

THE POORS HOSTEL

THE POORS HOSTEL

Now the development of the hospice facade is 354m compared to the 600m included in the project. It is also noteworthy that the palace does not have an unfinished look, standing out the practical and functional aspect of the entire structure.

In 1750 Giovanni Carafa, Duke of Noja published, in the form of letters to a friend, the benefits that would have resulted from a precise map of the city of Naples. In this paper the urban problems of the city are analyzed. The need for a development plan stemmed from the lack of public facilities and the continuous increase in population.

The beauty and order as socio-political aspects, according to Carafa, would solve the economic and urban problems.

The topographic map by Carafa allowed to program ordered interventions, according to the greatest need, thanks to this new way of working, Naples started again being a European capital.

Duke of Noja,

Duke of Noja,

After the Duke of Noja’s death in 1769 the map was finished by his brother Giovanni Pignatelli, who varied it taking into account the urban changes that had been made up to that point. The work turned out very precise, so that still now it represents a valuable tool for those interested in Naples town-planning.

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TOWN HALL SQUARE

The current area of Town Hall Square experienced considerable change from the beginning, due to the presence of the harbor and the Castle. Since its origins, the Town Hall Square was made up of two large roads: the Dock street and the Castle Square.

Since a few years in the underground of Town Hall Square there are some works in progress for the new subway.

The discovery of intact ships and numerous archaeological finds made ​​it possible to establish with certainty the definition of this old harbor area in the city. It was possible to identify the ancient port between the original settlement of Palepolis and the one of Neapolis .

In the seventh century the harbor, after an earthquake, became a swamp and was covered by the construction of a new road. It must be said that today the Square has almost completely lost the characteristics mentioned in the literary chronicles by Salvatore Di Giacomo: enchanted place, bustling and popular. The wide square in front of the Castle has always played a primary role in the city. The guides describe it as early as 1500, among the main town squares.

The stratification in the Castle Square is expressed in a symbolic way as it was home fort the governing power.

stretch of Via del Molo eighteenth century

stretch of Via del Molo eighteenth century

The final configuration of this square will only happen in 1800, with the restructuring and the liberation of the Castle following the restoration works in 1884.

The Castle, at first residence of the Angevins: 1266-1442; of the Aragons: 1442-1503; of the Spanish Vice-kings: 1503-1707, underwent restoration works in the late nineteenth century, finished in the thirties of the twentieth century.

The Castle liberation intervention, with the reconstruction of the towers system, led the castle to be a symbolic image of the city .

During the Fascist period and from 1950 a new road system was established – the New Seaside Street – and interventions were executed leading to the definition of city on the habour, with a compulsory traffic junction just represented by Town Hall Square. Originally the area was made up of a naturally area within the city walls and the hill of Pizzofalcone .

Charles I of Anjou in 1279 decided to build a new fortress to use as a Royal residence instead of Capuano Castle – Norman residence built a century earlier.

The New Castle was initially rectangular in plan with several towers, of this initial structure only the Palatine Chapel still remains.

In this same period the pier was built and the arsenal was moved from the east nearer to the Castle along the coast, the ​​trade area shifted from San Gaetano Square to the Market Square.

The Angevin Castle was built on the site of the church of St. Mary ad Palatinium and around this spot more residential constructions developed. In the area close to the Castle in a short period administrative structures were built as well as homes of the Court officials.

City Hall Square and the Castle Square knew major changes during the Aragon period, thanks to the renovation project -1442 – of Alfonso of Aragon.

The New Castle was almost totally rebuilt and adapted to new defensive systems, towers assumed a circular and massive form, the triumphal arch was built, a marble entrance between two towers, a testimony of Renaissance Art in Naples.

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NEW CASTLE

Charles of Anjou’s decision to build a New Castle as Royal Palace has a great importance for the urban history of Naples.

With the construction of the Castle, the place for the future political, administrative and military center of the Kingdom Capital is determined. In fact, at the extreme limit of the castle in the XVI century the Vice-king Palace will be built.

In 1279 the works for the New Castle began, being necessary for the inadequacy of the Egg-Castle (Castel dell’Ovo) – too isolated to the seaside and away from the city – and Capuana Castle too far from the coast. The architect who oversaw the construction was Pierre de Chaule, who made the Castle fit for habitation already in 1282, even though the works were completed only in 1284.

The only representation we have of Naples in the late Angevin era is a front of a box painted by an unknown artist between the fourteenth and fifteenth century, preserved in New York. Representation in which it is possible to distinguish the main buildings of New Castle , Castel dell ‘Ovo , the pier , the city walls, the Palatine Chapel .

In the absence of precise iconographic sources we can get an idea of ​​the Angevin New Castle thanks to written documents and by comparison with contemporary French and Southern surviving structures .

The Palatine Chapel built starting in 1307 by Giovanni d’Isernia Caraccio, was completed in 1309 and it is the only part of the Castle preserving the fourteenth-century structure . It has a single rectangular nave , without side chapels and a flat apse enclosed by towers which connect the religious building to other castle areas.

On the walls there are traces of vaults from a previous era, the ceiling was replaced with a barrel vault in the 1500s, later demolished by modern restorations. The apse is lit by two mullioned windows and a large mullioned window on the back wall . On the facade is now possible to observe the large rose window from the Aragon age.

Around the castle there was a moat in which sea water never flowed.

Uncertain are the numbers and the shape of the towers, but according to numerous historical data there certainly stood four in the corners and at least three to the seaside. On the northern side which faced the city, sources report the presence of a Gate flanked by two towers, according to traditional schemes.

Connected with the defense structures of the Castle we find the tower of St. Vincent built in 1389 on a small island on the sea, well evidently shown in all the representations, until its demolition in 1742 .

NEW CASTLE

NEW CASTLE

The sources do not indicate the towers shape, but we do know that in France they were circular in shape, while in Italy they had a square or polygonal form. Near the Castle, buildings were built for the children of Charles II and under the reign of Robert the park was created and continually embellished.

Following fires, sieges and wars the Angevin New Castle fell into disrepair.

In 1442 Alphonse the Magnanimous went to Naples and immediately decreed the reconstruction of the Castle. In 1450 the restoration, repeatedly interrupted by wars, brought radical changes to the Castle.

The new towers were set and adapted to a modern defense, less high and less slender, with powerful footings, with grooves not only concave but spiral, to prevent the support of stairs and war machines. The Beverello, gold, and St. George towers were ended, as well as the two Gate towers.

The work continued until 1456, the year of the earthquake that caused severe damage to the tower of St. George and the Palatine Chapel.

The Table Strozzi describes in detail the Castle and the surrounding area, flanked by written sources it allows the reading of architectural structures. In the Table the Castle appears inserted among gardens and Prince houses, and the area now occupied by Square Plebiscito seems completely flat .

The painting gives us the perspective of the city on the sea, as the true protagonist of the work is the return of the Aragon fleet after the victory against the Angevins at the Battle of Ischia in 1465. New Castle is depicted with great precision, we can clearly distinguish the materials with which it is built thanks to the variation of colors allowing us to recognize the gray of piperno stone from the yellow tuff .

 Table Strozzi

Table Strozzi

In all fifteen century representations, the features making the New Castle the largest fortified Palace of the 1400s appear evident. The most famous spot in the Castle is the Barons Hall, now home to the City Council, so called because in 1486 the Barons who had conspired against King were arrested.

Stepping through the door at the top of the stairs you enter a large, almost cubic hall whose walls are topped by a huge vault open at the top by a large oculus.

Unfortunately the Hall in 1919 was devastated by a fire that totally wiped out the beautiful decorations.

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